In perusing social media during John Boehner's reelection as House Speaker on Tuesday, I got the feeling I was one of few conservatives not exuding frothing-at-the-mouth rage over Boehner's victory. The rage was at a fever pitch in the Congressional District I reside as our newly elected Republican House member, Tom Emmer, cast a vote for Boehner. Call me crazy (or a RINO or an "establishment guy") but I'm going to reserve judgement on Emmer until I see how he votes on issues which impact the size and scope of government.
Look, I'm not going to sit here and tell you I'm an unabashed Boehner supporter (I am not). I felt he too often caved when going head-to-head with the Democrat majority in the Senate as well as President Obama over issues like raising the debt ceiling, shutting down government, etc. But at the end of the day, controlling only one chamber of Congress wasn't exactly a politically advantageous position for Boehner and his fellow House Republicans. But now that the GOP has complete control of Congress after attaining a majority in the U.S. Senate, bills passed in the House will actually come up for debate (and subsequently passed) in the Senate under new majority leader Mitch McConnell. As such, the burden of obstructionism now lays at the feet of the President.
There definitely seemed to be some momentum to an "anyone but Boehner" movement. Per the WaPo, the 24 GOP votes for someone other than Boehner was "the largest rebellion by a party against its incumbent speaker since the Civil War." However, I never got a sense that a serious campaign was waged by any one opponent. Reps Louie Gohmert and Ted Yoho were two candidates looking to unseat Boehner but got no traction. Even more embarrassing was Florida Congressman Daniel Webster cobbling together a candidacy literally an hour before Tuesday's roll call. If no one candidate is going to do little more than "Boehner sucks, I don't" then we shouldn't be outraged when the rebellion fails.
Alas, all these sideshows and infighting have plagued the GOP for some time now. For crying out loud, the Republicans have the largest majority in the US House (246-189) in nearly 90 years yet day one of the 114th Congress was spent participating in the proverbial circular firing squad.
I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry.